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Recovering Commercial Rent Arrears

Recovering Commercial Rent Arrears

How To Recover Commercial Rent Arrears

As Enforcement Agents, Burlington are authorised to collect rent arrears from commercial tenants.

Our powers enable us to seize and remove goods belonging to the defaulting tenant where payment of the outstanding rent is not made. Our fees are also payable by the tenant, making the service free to the client. The process does not require a court order and can be used once the tenant has accrued rental arrears equivalent to seven days rent.

There are strict rules surrounding the procedure for taking control and removing goods. We can only take control of goods for collection of commercial rent arrears from the premises which are the subject of the written lease. However, if the tenant has left the premises or has a residential lease, we may still be able to help you enforce a judgment in our capacity as High Court Enforcement Officers. Alternatively, if you would prefer to repossess the property, Burlington can help forfeit the lease and secure against re-entry by the tenant or trespassers.

Our Enforcement Officers operate throughout England and Wales and our comprehensive levels of coverage allow us to provide excellent response times.

What will you do once instructed?

Once instructed, we are required to provide seven clear (working) days’ notice prior to attending at the premises to take control of goods. This notice period does not include days allowed for service by post (a further 5 days). Once on site we will carry out a full inventory of the goods on site and make an assessment as to value. We will ask the tenant to make payment immediately and, where possible, we will collect rent arrears and costs during our first attendance. If the tenant is able to enter into a controlled goods agreement (a payment arrangement secured on the listed goods of the tenant) we may agree terms with you. If the tenant is unable to make payment and we consider it prudent, we may seek your instructions on removal of goods.

If we enter into a controlled goods agreement (formerly known as a walking possession agreement), we will explain the provisions of the agreement clearly to the tenant and will re-attend as necessary to collect the rent and costs by installment. We will generally have made a full collection within 7-10 days and can remove at any point after expiry of the controlled goods agreement if the tenant fails to meet the obligations under the agreement.

How long will it take?

Adam on phone, Burlington enforcement servicesFollowing receipt of instructions and providing seven days’ notice, we will make a first attendance.

If we consider that there are sufficient goods on site to cover the outstanding rent and our costs we may look to seize and remove immediately, with our client’s consent. However, in most cases we will grant a ‘controlled goods agreement’, which enables the tenant to retain the goods seized on the premises on the understanding that payment is made in accordance with agreed terms.

Where we remove goods for sale, the items seized will be entered for auction and the proceeds will be paid over as soon as possible. Where we enter into a controlled goods agreement we will endeavour to collect the rent arrears as soon as possible and we will generally be able to collect full payment with 7-10 days from date of instruction.

How much will it cost?

We take an upfront fee of £75.00+vat (£90.00) which is refunded upon successful enforcement as our fees are generally payable by the Debtor in accordance with Taking Control of Goods (Fees) Regulations 2014. These regulations allow us to charge our fees in addition to the debt where we are successful.

If we are required to remove goods and sell them at auction we will deduct our fees from the proceeds of sale. We will generally only remove where there are sufficient assets to discharge the outstanding rent arrears and our costs or where we consider that the tenant is likely to abscond or that the goods seized are otherwise at risk.

How do I instruct Burlington?

To instruct us please complete this online instruction form.

Allied Services

You may wish to consider forfeiting the lease as an alternative to seizing the tenant’s goods. This option is sometimes preferred where the tenant has a poor payment history or where the landlord has a new tenant ready to take over the premises. Please see our free guide entitled ‘Evicting Commercial Tenants’ for further information.